Seven Samurai (Shichinin no samurai) is a Japanese film that was released in 1954. It was directed and co-written by the great Japanese film-maker, Akira Kurosawa. The movie takes place in the 16th century and is often considered one of the greatest movies ever made. It has been placed on the top ten list by a number of influential critics and magazines and seems to remain one of the most well-known Japanese films in the Western Hemisphere. It is a long movie, encompassing a lot of characters and a running time of 207 minutes.
The movie starts out with a group of Japanese farmers who keep getting their crops stolen by a group of forty bandits. In order to get this to stop the village elder convinces some of the townspeople to travel into the big town to find samurai to help them fight. They have a hard time of it, as all of the samurai that they find will not work for the three meals a day, which is all the village can afford to pay. They are finally able to get an old warrior named Kambei to help them. Kambei manages to find five other samurai, each without a master, to help him. A man named Kikuchiyo, who is not a samurai but is a fighter looking for adventure, goes along with them.
The samurai eventually find out that the villagers have killed and stolen from samurai in the recent past. They become enraged by this and are ready to leave when Kikuchiyo explains to them how life is from a farmer’s point of view. He manages to calm the warriors down. Shortly after the samurai happen to discover that the villagers have been making sure that the samurai are getting the best food available in the village, while they are surviving on mere crumbs. The samurai, feeling guilty and ashamed, share their food with the villagers.
The samurai start instructing the villagers how to build walls in order to protect their village. They teach them how to fight so that they will no longer be helpless and an odd pairing is begun. Sooner than they think the bandits come to attack. They are surprised by the walls that are now surrounding the village but they attack anyway. The bandits, although there are less of them, have three bandits which give them the upper hand. The samurai make it their mission to get the guns away from the bandits.
The villagers go with the plan the samurai have come up with, which is to allow a bandit into the camp so that the samurai can surround and kill him. Two of the samurai die and Kikuchiyo, the samurai who was not a samurai, gets shot. With a final burst of energy, Kikuchiyo manages to kill the bandit chief so that the villagers win the final battle.
Three samurai live after the attack, each one learning the fact that no matter who wins in a war, everybody loses.